INTERVIEW WITH SOLO
On Friday at Superfilth’s Halloween party we caught up with Stefano Ritteri AKA Solo, part of the Deadfish Records Family, long time friend of Mowgli and the founder of the joke term midget house (fidget and minimal house), which some now consider as a serious term.
WANARB: How did you first get into producing?
Solo: Ummm, I was born on a cold Wednesday, no Tuesday in March, since then I have always wanted to make music. When I was 13/14 I was playing in a band, we had a studio already. When I was 13 I started my first studio. We were playing rock music at the beginning, but were always interested in technology, scratching and the whole dj world, alongside the band.
WANARB: So you’ve been djing for a long time then?
Solo: Yeah man, when I was 16 I was already djing at school parties and always collecting records, playing lots of funk and disco parties as well as hip hop. I was into scratching for a few years, I’ve never been incredibly good, but I was scratching. Then when I was about 18 – 19 the proportion of girls in clubs compared to the girls in the gigs of my band were way too different, so yeah here I am. I’m now in London and making a career in dance music.
WANARB: But when you first moved here you weren’t actually producing were you?
Solo: No, I was engineering for other people, other bands or dj acts. I have always been a nerdy engineer, always been into sounds. I was basically paid to mix their stuff and that’s also how I started working with Mowgli for example, I was mixing his tracks.
WANARB: Did you know Mowgli before you moved here from Italy? Because you seem to have a very tight bond.
Solo: No, no I didn’t, I knew Riva Starr before, we go back a really really long time. I met Mow when he first moved to London and it was love at first sight. Here we are a few years later still fighting.
WANARB: Talking about family you have been throwing the Deadfish family parties, which actually started off as a secret party didnt it?
Solo: Yeah man, we just made the party for pleasure, just for us to invite friends, that’s why we got a very, very small venue, where it could only fit a hundred people. We started by only inviting our friends and it’s on a Thursday because the more we progressed both me and Mowgli became big so we were never in London at the same time on the weekend, tonight is a very rare case. So we said let’s do something in the mid week, once a month, where all of our friends could come and see us, so we started and then suddenly it became a mega party, we had around 400 people one night at Public Life, which is only one hundred capacity! So it became really popular, we still keep it free for every body but we only let people in who are involved with the Deadfish thing and everybody plays for free all the time, it’s a good atmosphere!
WANARB: Which release do you think was the first most successful for you?
Solo: The first one that went really big was the Congaloid release on Dirtybird, that went quite well. It was on the top charts of Beatport for a few months and it gave me quite a lot of visibility, it also came up at a very early stage of my career. Before that I had only released 3 songs, then Congaloid came through and Claude Von Stroke wanted to release it on Dirtybird. Suddenly lots of labels were interested in what I was doing. I dropped three EPs after that, some of them went well, then I did a couple of remixes which went really well, that really kick started everything.
WANARB: What’s your top played iTunes song at the moment? It doesn’t always get a definite answer.
Well, what am I listening to? I’m really digging this band called Mount for the Sun a very romantic band, which doesn’t really fit to what I do. I listen to lot of people man, but not necessary new stuff. My iPod is filled with hip hop, rock…
WANARB: So would you say that you were influenced by hip hop music?
Yeah, Hip Hop and Rock, I still listen to heavy metal. Especially before going to a gig , I take a shower, I listen to heavy metal and then I slap myself in front of the mirror. Then I know I’m ready to play. So yeah I listen to everything, depends on the mood really.
WANARB: Who is your favourite artist at the moment?
Solo: At the moment I’m digging a lot of Cajmere’s stuff, which is actually Green Velvet. It’s nothing new but I’m discovering a lot of old records, which he made in ’92 and ’93, with such simple technology. Listening to them now they have far more groove than a lot of stuff, which is coming out now, so at the moment I’m digging a lot of old school house. I just discovered the Cajmere project house the tracks are just really simple and good.
WANARB: Finally, who is the one to watch?
Solo: I don’t know there are so many good producers around. There’s a very good scene going on in Paris, a lot of kids producing good stuff there. Well I don’t know, I can’t really pin point any. I mean all the people that I really like are already quite established in a way. I love Tim Green, I love Butch, I love Zombie Disco Squad, I love Round Table Knights. The whole family you know there are so many things going on that I can’t pin point but I just think that it is very exciting times for dance music at the moment.
WANARB: Well, thank you very much for the interview, we at WANARB wish you all the best in the future.
Solo: Thanks! My pleasure!
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